It warns of closure of hospitals in case strike is not resolved
The Kerala Private Hospitals' Association has blamed the government for the prolonged strike of nurses at various private hospitals in the State. Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, the association president P.K. Mohammed Rasheed warned of action including closure of hospitals for a day in case the government failed to resolve the issue within a fortnight.
He said the government failed to convene a meeting of managements and nurses at the State-level to discuss the issues. The government had failed to file an affidavit in a case over the minimum wages issue pending before the court, he said. The government had set up a panel to study the problems of nurses, ignoring the woes of the hospital managements.
The Labour Minister had taken part in some of the meetings held to discuss the nurses' agitation at certain places, but efforts to sort out the larger issue were not forthcoming, he said. He alleged that the Minister's statements were not impartial. He also alleged that the United Nurses Association which was spearheading the agitation had no trade union rights to strike work as it was registered under the Societies' Act.
The association had decided to abide by the minimum wages rule, but issues pertaining to internship of nurses were yet to be settled. The government order issued last year to do away with internship had created new problems, and the association was seeking court's intervention in the matter.
He said the KPHA, with a membership exceeding 650, would ask the Confederation of Private Hospitals' Association, a body of six organisations of hospitals in the State, to take up the issues with the government for a logical conclusion.
He said only very few private hospitals were running in profit, and the majority were just managing to survive. The contribution made by the private medicare sector was significant in Kerala, but the government's attitude smacked of neglect. The medical profession in totality should have a service mentality, he added. V. Hussain Koya Thangal, general secretary, was also present.